Replication stress induced by nucleotide deficiency plays an important role in cancer initiation. Replication stress in primary cells typically activates the cellular senescence tumor-suppression mechanism. Senescence bypass correlates with development of cancer, a disease characterized by metabolic reprogramming. However, the role of metabolic reprogramming in the cellular response to replication stress has been little explored. Here, we report that ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) plays a central role in regulating the cellular response to replication stress by shifting cellular metabolism. ATM inactivation bypasses senescence induced by replication stress triggered by nucleotide deficiency. This was due to restoration of deoxyribonucleotide triphosphate (dNTP) levels through both upregulation of the pentose phosphate pathway via increased glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) activity and enhanced glucose and glutamine consumption. These phenotypes were mediated by a coordinated suppression of p53 and upregulation of c-MYC downstream of ATM inactivation. Our data indicate that ATM status couples replication stress and metabolic reprogramming during senescence.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.